Talent being something that you are either born with or not; either you have it or you do not. Skill is something that you will learn through conscious efforts.
Sometimes people have a tendency to argue with me about this and say that their attitude is a talent, but when I ask them the question, are there things that you can proactively consciously do to improve your attitude and they answer always is, yes!
Most people are not aware of this or aware of the tools that they have to improve their attitudes. We discuss many of these attitude management tools in our Proper Care and Feeding of Your Attitude Workshop. I suggest you look into this workshop is you want a more healthy, winning, positive, effective attitude.
I am going to give you one of these attitude management tools now.
Your Ability to Laugh
The first tool that we teach, what I would say is the number one tool that you have in your attitude management arsenal, is your sense of humor.
Now when I talk about this, I do not mean that you need to suddenly become a professional stand up comic. I am talking about using your sense of humor as a way to cultivate your attitude. It does not mean that you need to make people laugh. It means that you yourself need to learn to laugh.
There are three very distinct situations you can use this tool in. You need to learn to laugh:
1. At yourself
2. With other people
3. About the negative situations that you face
I will break this down very quickly for you.
You need to learn to laugh at yourself. I am convinced that the number one cause of stress for most people is that they just flat out and take themselves way too seriously. I have just found out two things about this. If you are somebody that takes yourself too seriously, I am obligated to warn you of two things.
Number one, if you do not know how to laugh at yourself, I have found that other people will feel obligated to get that done for you. Somebody is going to be laughing at you, so it might as well be you.
Secondly, I have also found that for people that do not know how to laugh at themselves, they have a tendency to find themselves in situations where they look and feel ridiculous more. You probably can think of somebody like this right off the bat.
You need to laugh with other people. Specifically now for the many of you who are in sales. The best sales lesson I ever got, was when someone said to me, “If you can laugh with somebody, they will buy from you.” Think about that for just a second. If you can laugh with somebody, they will buy from you and even if you are not in sales, that still applies.
Laughter is a great way to enhance your communication and break down communication barriers.
You need to learn to laugh about the negative situations that you face. Now do not get me wrong here. I am not saying that you do not have situations that are serious. Most people do. What I am saying is that, if you get caught up in the doom and gloom of the moment, it is difficult to focus on the solutions to those challenges and expect to work through them.
When you keep things in perspective, learn to laugh about some of the negative things that you face and how ridiculous they often are, that is when you begin to unlock your creativity to be able to deal with those negative situations much more effectively.
So again, you simply need to learn to laugh at yourself with other people and about the negative situations that you face.
Do you have any examples of how this tool has helped in your life? I would love to hear about it. Post a comment below.